Topic: Prince Michael of Kent
During a visit to Moscow this week, Prince Michael of Kent stopped at the Martha and Mary Convent where he was met by Panteleimon, Bishop of Smolensk and Vyazma who provided the Prince with a tour of the convent and explained its activities within the community.
Prince Michael was met at the entrance of the convent's historic Holy Protection Cathedral by the prioress, Sister Catherine, who offered him bread and salt, a traditional Russian custom that dates back centuries.
He visited the cathedral which has been restored including the frescoes painted by Russian artist Mikhail Nesterov.
He then visited the orphanage at the Martha and Mary Convent where he met the children, who performed songs in his presence.
Prince Michael also visited the memorial museum, now housed in the former rooms of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, and restored to their original thanks to old photographs that survived. It was here that Prince Michael became interested in the photographs of his ancestor, each of which was explained by Sister Catherine. Among the exhibits is the former grand piano of the grand duchess. Miraculously preserved, the piano has never left the monastery.
The Martha and Mary Convent is one of the few places in Moscow that is directly associated with the Russian Imperial family. It offers two guided tours each day of the convent and memorial rooms.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 October, 2012